A MISSING LINK? | Sec. Duque: There is a missing link in PhilHealth fund misuse
4 months ago
JUNE 14, 2018 – Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III believes there is a missing link in the P10.6 billion PhilHealth controversy involving former officials of the healthcare provider.
“Let’s clarify something here. There’s a missing link. The missing link is that the P10.8 billion that’s supposed to have gone to Philippines as a subsidy for senior citizens’ membership. Bumalik sa DBM ‘yan or hindi na natanggap ng PhilHealth as they say, but when we asked DBM, asan na ‘yung pera? At tsaka bakit mayroon ngayon nagpapakita na ‘yung pera, there’s suspicion that it has been used to finance the infrastructure project of DOH, which is the barangay health stations, the dental vans, and also the procurement of medical equipment,” said Duque on One News’ primetime show “The Chiefs.”
Former Health Secretary Janette Garin and former PhilHealth President Alex Padilla were implicated in the billion-peso mess because of their letter requesting for the release of ‘unprogrammed appropriations’ to the agency’s Health Facilities Enhancement Program in 2015 which includes the building of rural health units.
“Sulat nila ‘yun eh, we did not invent that. So, it is the letter of waiver that has no board approval, that has no actuarial certification that the P10.8 billion was no longer needed. Because P10.8 billion, that’s a huge sum of money that would have– if they had allowed the earmarking of that amount– improved the actuarial life of PhilHealth,”said Duque.
Duque said he confirmed from Budget Secretary Ben Diokno that the funds used in the building of barangay health stations were from miscellaneous personnel benefit funds which came from vacancies within the DOH.
Garin, however, maintains that the P10.6-B fund does not exist because the excess in tax collections required for the fund’s release was never met.